Department Chair

Each major and minor program of the College is under the oversight of a Department Chair, who reports to the appropriate Division Chair. The Department Chair is specifically responsible for assuring the effective functioning of one or more major and/or minors.

Department Chairs have expertise in the academic program area and are preferably tenured or in contracts with long-term continuing service to the College. Those teaching in a department will recommend a Department Chair according to the needs and requirements of a department, and the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty will make the appointment. The term of office should, in general, be at least three years, with a six-year maximum. Rotation is highly desirable, but the appointment may be renewed, following a review of performance and departmental needs. Course releases for administrative work in areas that have heavy administrative load will be determined by the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty. In addition, titles for these positions may vary, as appropriate, to reflect special administrative work or other responsibilities.

Department Chairs are specifically responsible for the following, though this list is not exhaustive: 

  1. Collaborating with the Division Chair to ensure the quality of the academic program(s), to develop position proposals, to recruit, mentor, and evaluate departmental faculty, and to foster good relations within the department, including service on search committees.
  2. Assisting the Division Chair with recommendations for continuation, tenure, and promotion. Department Chair/s should consult with appropriate members of the department bringing recommendations to the Division Chair.
  3. Overseeing the quality and coherence of the major(s) and/or minor(s) as well as curriculum development and review, in collaboration with other departmental faculty, divisional colleagues, and the Division Chair. This includes regularly reviewing the department’s Student Learning Outcomes, coordinating annual assessment reports of student learning, and convening department meetings, when necessary. 
  4. Developing teaching schedules for departmental faculty, in consultation with other Department Chairs, the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning for GSTR contributions, and the Division Chair, as appropriate. Includes reviewing faculty proposals for Special Topics courses before forwarding them to Division Chairs for submission to the Registrar.
  5. Reviewing with due diligence Instructor Evaluation Questionnaires (IEQs) each term for all faculty teaching in the department.
  6. Administering departmental budget and funds, and reviewing capital requests, in consultation and collaboration with the Division Chair, as appropriate.
  7. Serving as the departmental point of contact for (1) students—e.g., independent studies, team-initiated studies, directed studies, internships, and other curricular matters; (2) administrative offices—e.g., annual review of the major and minor description in the Berea College Catalog; course substitutions; transfer credit; declaration of major, minor, and exploratory areas; campus visits by prospective students; Summer Connections; Carter G. Woodson Diversity Weekend; student awards; etc., and (3) off-campus inquiries.
  8. Providing oversight for the coordination of student labor and advising assignments in the department.
  9. Providing oversight of the department’s website, ensuring that the information is up-to-date.
  10. Ensuring that the department meets state and national accreditation standards and state board and licensure approvals, if applicable.
  11. Providing oversight of staff and building (work orders, equipment ordering and maintenance, etc.), if applicable.

A Department Chair should delegate some tasks to faculty within the department, as appropriate, but the chair has primary oversight for the responsibilities listed above.